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About Meiji

At a Glance

At a Glance

Get to know Meiji at a glance – from our core business to our most important numbers.


Our Nutrition Initiatives

Our Nutrition Initiatives

Our goal is to improve the lives of people of all ages around the world through nutrition, from infants to older adults, and we are dedicated to achieving this goal.



Medical needs are always diversifying – here's how Meiji is responding.

Human Rights

Goals for Respecting Human Rights

Meiji Group 2026 Medium-Term Management Plan

Materiality: Respect for human rights throughout the value chain
Data target range or company leading initiatives: Meiji Group Consolidated
Major initiatives Metrics Reference results Targets
FYE March 2023 FYE March 2027
1 Conduct employee education on business and human rights Implementation rate for human rights education for all domestic group employees Participation rate: 92% Participation rate or 90% or more

* Participation once per year

Number of human rights education programs conducted for employees of overseas group companies Participation rate: 84% Once or more

* Participation over 3 years

2 Strengthen human rights due diligence overseas Number of overseas high-risk countries for which human rights impact assessments have been conducted N/D 3 countries

Meiji Group 2023 Medium-Term Management Plan

[ ] Scope of KPI
Meiji G: the Meiji Group (consolidated)
KPI Results Targets
FYE 3/2022 FYE 3/2023 FYE 3/2024 FYE 3/2024
All domestic Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once annually
[Meiji G, Japan consolidated]
Implemented one time (Enrolled participants: Approx. 13,000 Participation rate: 90%) Implemented one time (Enrolled participants: Approx. 13,000 Participation rate: 92%) Implemented one time (Enrolled participants: Approx. 13,000 Participation rate: 93%) At least once annually
All overseas Meiji Group employees to attend a human rights training (including e-learning) at least once by FYE 3/2024
[Meiji G consolidated excluding Japan]
Enrolled participants: Approx. 770 Participation rate: 99% Enrolled participants: Approx. 2,200 Participation rate: 84% Enrolled participants: Approx. 1,200 Participation rate: 99% At least once by FYE 3/2024

Respect and Promote Human Rights

Meiji Group’s Basic Approaches to Human Rights

Meiji Group has declared respect for human rights in its Corporate Behavior Charter, and it manages its businesses based on the strong belief that all people are inherently free and deserve equal respect and rights. We will promote respect for human rights throughout the Group and fulfill the Group’s obligations.

Meiji Group Human Rights Policy

Based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Meiji Group supports and respects international standards on human rights, such as the International Bill on Human Rights, ILO's core labour standards, and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
In the pharmaceutical business, we will respect the ethical principles of the Helsinki Declaration and the guidelines of the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceutical for Human Use (ICH).

We will also respect the Children’s Rights and Business Principles of UNICEF, especially with regard to children, who have strong ties to the food business.
In 2020, we established the Meiji Group Marketing Communication to Children Policy, which outlines our considerations for children in marketing related to confectionery and ice cream.
In FY 2022, we are planning an activity to deepen our internal understanding of children's rights. 

System for Promoting Respect for Human Rights

In the Meiji Group, the Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), who is a member of Meiji Holdings' Board of Directors, is tasked by the President of Meiji Holdings to be responsible for and execute measures related to human rights. Under the supervision of the CSO, Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department leads execution of each of these measures as the main organization responsible for sustainability.

The Meiji Holdings Executive Committee has assembled the Group Sustainability Committee, with the aim of unifying all of Meiji Group's various sustainability-related activities, including those concerning human rights. In July 2019, we established the Group Human Rights Meeting, whose members consist of relevant departments and outside experts, and initiated human rights due diligence activities. Meiji Holdings' Sustainability Management Department, the main department responsible for sustainability, serves as the Meeting's secretariat. The Group Human Rights Meeting has in turn set up sub-committees, each with its own individual area of responsibility. As well as this, they are investigating human rights-related issues, creating action plans for various initiatives, and taking necessary preventive measures. The Board of Directors at Meiji Holdings receives regular reports on these activities and supervises the effectiveness of activity processes and measures.

Figure: human rights management structure

In addition, the Meiji Group has appointed Meiji Brand Promotion Officer and Meiji Brand Promotion Leader at each workplace to spread knowledge and understanding of brand promotion and sustainability. Approximately 840 Meiji Brand Promotion Leaders promote awareness of sustainability issues, including human rights, in their respective workplaces.
Approximately 290 Meiji Brand Promotion Officers supervise Meiji Brand Promotion Leaders.
Meiji Holdings Sustainability Management Department regularly holds online forums and seminars for Meiji Brand Promotion Officers and Leaders to enhance understanding of sustainability activities, including human rights.

Implementing Human Rights Due Diligence

We started human rights due diligence in FY2019 and it forms our commitment to human rights based on the Meiji Group Human Rights Policy. We make constant efforts to communicate with external stakeholders by: assessing the impact on human rights caused by the Meiji Group’s corporate activities and identifying issues; incorporating these evaluation results into procedures and implementing them for meaningful improvements; follow-up evaluations to review effectiveness; and timely and appropriate information disclosure. By continuous improvement through these processes, we will achieve both respect for human rights and sustainable growth of businesses.

Figure: Human Rights Due Diligence

Identifying Salient Human Rights Risks

In FY2022, we reviewed and updated salient human rights issues identified in FY 2019. We identify human rights risks throughout the value chain in each of the food and pharmaceutical business domains, and include objective perspectives from outside experts to identify salient human rights issues for the Meiji Group.

Identified salient human rights issues
Figure: Identifying Human Rights Risks and Prioritizing
Salient human rights issues Potentially affected stakeholders
Discrimination and harassment Employees, suppliers, customers, community residents, etc.
Gender equality Employees, suppliers, customers, community residents, etc.
Child labor Employees of the company and its suppliers
Forced labor and human trafficking Employees of the company and its suppliers
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining Employees of the company and its suppliers
Fair working conditions and wages Employees of the company and its suppliers
Occupational health and safety Employees of the company and its suppliers
Working hours Employees of the company and its suppliers
Rights of foreign workers Employees of the company and its suppliers
Healthy lifestyle for local residents, access to water community residents
Impact of advertising and marketing on children Customers and consumers
Customer and user health Customers and consumers
Access to information Donors of human-derived raw materials
Privacy rights Employees, clinical trial subjects, customers, etc.

Initiatives for risk assessment, mitigation, and remedy

The main initiatives implemented in FY2022 to mitigate and remediate human rights risks are as follows.

Item Risk overview and mitigation/correction measures
1. Improve the working environment for foreign workers
  • The results of the interviews conducted in FY2021 revealed that there are differences in the methods and attitudes of each business site regarding the employment of foreign workers and labor management, and inadequate support for foreign language labeling in the workplace.
  • Established "Guidelines for Employment of Foreign Workers" in June 2022, summarizing points that need special attention when employing foreign workers throughout the Meiji Group. Briefing sessions were held for group companies and subcontractors to inform and disseminate the guidelines.
2. Supply chain risk reduction
  • The results of the procurement survey conducted in FY2021 revealed that some suppliers and group companies were below the standard point with regard to human rights.
  • Began preparations to engage suppliers and group companies with high human rights risks for improvement. Engagements are scheduled to be implemented in FY2023.
  • Soy Procurement Guidelines were established in March 2023 and include the concept of respect for human rights, including the prohibition of child labor and forced labor.

Sustainable Sourcing

3. Raise employees' awareness of human rights
  • The challenge is to inform Group employees of the human rights policy and to improve their understanding of human rights.
  • Human rights education is provided through e-learning and group training, and approximately 14,000 employees throughout the Group have participated in these programs.
4. Introduction of a multilingual grievance system
  • The existing grievance system for group companies in Japan was only available in Japanese. Therefore, it was necessary to introduce a multilingual grievance system that foreign workers could also use with ease.
  • A grievance system available in nine languages was introduced in June 2023. In addition to employees of group companies in Japan, employees of contractors can also use the system.

Initiatives to Reduce Human Rights Risks for Foreign Workers

In February 2020, we conducted a survey on the presence of foreign workers at domestic direct-affiliated plant and laboratories of Meiji Co., Ltd. and Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., and confirmed that there were no issues with respect to employment contracts or labor management for foreign workers who are directly employed. In FY 2021, we conducted interviews with labor managers and site managers at 14 business sites (8 plants and 6 group companies of Meiji Co., Ltd.) in which foreigners work, and confirmed the operation status of employment contracts and labor management.
As a result, it was confirmed that there were no major problems with labor management, such as employment contract, confirmation of status of residence, and managing working hours.

Interviews about foreign workers
Interviewed period Interviewed sites Person interviewed Methods
FY 2021 6 group companies 7 labor managers in total Online interview
6 on-site managers in total
8 plants 8 labor managers in total Online interview
8 on-site managers in total

On the other hand, we found issues such as differences in the methods and attitudes of each business site regarding the employment of foreign workers and labor management, and inadequate support for foreign language labeling in the workplace. To this end, we compiled the Guidelines for Employment of Foreign Workers in June 2022, summarizing points that need special attention when employing foreign workers throughout the Meiji Group.

In addition, we distributed the guidelines within the group and to our subcontractors, and held briefing sessions, requesting that the guidelines be thoroughly implemented.
Aiming to create a work environment that meets international standards that enables foreign workers to work soundly and with a sense of security, we will work to promote the implementation of the guidelines, including cooperating companies, in addition to our own plant and business sites.

<Items to be included in the guidelines for the employment of foreign workers>
1. Matters to be confirmed concerning foreign workers
2. Points to be noted when applying from foreign workers
3. Use of brokers
4. Intermediary fees and other related expenses
5. Working regulations
6. Working conditions and employment contracts
7. Prohibition of forced labor
8. Wages and working hours
9. Provision of housing such as dormitories
10. Consultation Desk and Complaint Processing System, Section
11. Occupational Health and Safety
12. Medical checkups
13. Training
14. Assistance for termination of contract, dismissal, and re-employment
15. Communicating with cooperating companies and dispatching companies

Introduction of a multilingual consultation and remedy service for foreign workers

Meiji Group introduced a multilingual consultation and remedy service for foreign workers in June 2023. This service is provided by JP-MIRAI (Japan Platform for Migrant Workers towards Responsible and Inclusive Society) and is available in nine languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Indonesian, Myanmar, Portuguese, Spanish, and Japanese. To ensure that foreign workers who are unfamiliar with life in Japan can work and live in Japan without any concerns, the service offers a full range of consultations on work, health, and daily life. It also serves as a whistle-blowing system when they experience problems in the workplace and provides support from professional staff as needed until the problem is resolved. This service is available to employees of the Meiji Group and its contractors working in Japan.

Responding to Human Rights Related Laws and Regulations in Each Country and Region

In expanding our business globally, Meiji Group will comply with the laws and regulations regarding the working environment and human rights established in each country, and will act in good faith in all business activities.

Group Employee Training

We engage in education and training activities related to respect for human rights and prohibition of discrimination, prohibition of forced and child labor, prohibition of harassment, safe and healthy workplaces, respect for fundamental rights of employees, and more, based on the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights.

In-Company Training

In FY2022, Human Rights education program was provided for all employees in Japan (approximately 13,000 employees, 92% participation rate) and employees in Thailand, Singapore India and Spain (approximately 2,200 employees, 84% participation rate). In the education program, we explain the Meiji Group Human Rights Policy and explain human rights issues related to day-to-day operations, such as child labor and the human rights of foreign workers, in an effort to raise employee awareness of human rights and reduce risks.

Education on harassment

We conduct e-learning on harassment, which is one of the human rights issues in the workplace, for all employees. We explain the diversifying examples of modern harassment and the policy on harassment in our group to raise employee awareness of harassment. For managers, in addition to providing education through specific examples, we also provide education on how to respond to harassment consultations, and promote initiatives to prevent harassment.

Training for Hiring Personnel

In Japan, we provide training on fair recruitment and selection to hiring personnel at our offices nationwide, and ensure compliance with prohibitions on discrimination in employment and harassment, and with respect for the fundamental human rights of applicants. In addition to respecting people's ability to work of their own free will, we also strive to prevent forced labor through clear advance presentation of working conditions (including work content, hours, rest periods, vacations, holidays, wages, salary increases, and provisions on retirement, etc.) and conclude of employment contracts. We also take action to ensure that all employees meet statutory minimum age requirements at the time of hiring in order to prevent child labor.